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Save on large appliances

If you have a large appliance sorely in need of replacing but didn't qualify for or couldn't take advantage of the Cash for Appliances program, here are 10 ways to save.

Shop box stores: Shopping warehouse and box stores can be hit or miss. Sometimes you get a great deal and other times you may pay more. When it comes to appliances, however, you may be surprised at the bargains you can find. Such stores don't usually honor price matches so what you see is what you get. Before hitting these cut-rate stores, research prices and quality online.

Avoid rentals: It's tempting to pay just $20 a week for a new refrigerator, but the interest you'll pay for a rent-to-own appliance means you end up paying much more than the purchase price. These retailers thrive on consumers who pay the minimum amount each month or end up reneging on payments and losing the appliance.

Hit holiday sales: September and October are the best months to make major purchases but the second-best time is during the holidays. Merchants offer deep discounts at Christmas, when consumers want to spiff up their homes for the holidays. Also keep an eye out for sales on the less-celebrated weekends, like Memorial Day, Mother's Day and Labor Day.

Buy only what you need: Appliance models with all the bells and whistles are typically displayed the most prominently. Merchants want to upsell customers from their original selection of a basic appliance by grabbing your interest when you walk in the door. Avoid the upselling syndrome by making a list of your exact needs and buying the cheapest model with the best quality that meets those needs. A microwave with built-in television isn't going to cook your food any better or faster than a basic model.

Wait for store remodels: Merchants typically want to clear out as much inventory before beginning a remodel because they'll frequently replace an entire product line when the job is finished.

Surf Craigslist: Keep an eye on the appliances section for low prices on new appliances. Dealers sometimes advertise their overstocks on Craigslist. Look for "dealer" notations to know if you're working with a store and not a private seller. Realtors and remodeling contractors also offer new or nearly new appliances. You'll likely have to manage your own delivery, however.

Shop the scratched and dented area: A small scratch or dent could become your best friend if you're on a tight budget. Ask the sales associate if they have any damaged appliances for sale. Then, survey the damaged models to decide what you are willing to live with; even the smallest blemish can net big savings. If you don't see a "scratch and dent" section, ask if these models are available off the floor. Research the full market value and request the discount accurately reflects a substantial reduction from that price.

Trade in and trade up: We all know it's possible to trade in a car when buying a new model. Why not apply the same principal to buying a new appliance? Research the worth of your current appliance and check with appliance dealers to see if they'll offer a trade-in deal.

Buy a floor model: You can save hundreds buying television and sofa floor models. The same rule applies to appliances. Make sure you conduct a thorough inspection, looking at the appliance from all angles for dents, scratches and missing pieces. If you do find a flaw that won't impact the appliance's operation, negotiate with the manager for a further price reduction. Stores often are happy just to unload floor models and recoup some of their costs.

Online coupons: Remember to research appliance online coupons before you buy to further reduce the cost.

Save on large appliances 06/02/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 1, 2010 9:48pm]
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